Becoming a cybersecurity expert is all about practicing with the latest available tools, skills (GCIH) to determine execution and put in the hard work. Though a certification process is taken with a grain of salt, quality courses help revise with official study materials respected by employers. “Leadership is a mindset, not a position.” And to prove authority in the cybersecurity world, how do we determine personal value? Of course, being top of the game has its benefits; certifications provide additional help. GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH) validates a similar skill set in cybersecurity, InfoSec, networking, vulnerabilities, and penetration testing.
GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)
Among plenty of cybersecurity & IT certification programs, GSE’s GIAC is one of the toughest. Please don’t get discouraged because we said it’s the toughest. Please bear with the article, and you’ll have the answers.
If it’s easy, everyone will do it. While GSE wants people to get certificates, there is a standard to follow. Also, because GIAC is one of the most demanding certifications to get, it bears the sweetest fruit. There are about 218 GEC in the world, and to acquire them, GSEC, GCIA, and GCIH certifications are needed. Our goal here is to introduce you to an overview of GCIH. But alongside, there are important tips mentioned that help with most of the SANS programs. Most GSEs have eight GIAC certifications, while the rest may vary.
The style and tactics of every individual hacker differ, so is the defense mechanism. It wouldn’t be possible for any institute or curriculum to teach one person every type of ethical hacking, pen-testing, or defense—years of practice and patience to develop skills are as necessary as motivation. If we put our foot in the attacker’s shoes, our point of view changes. It is when a well-structured curriculum comes in handy. It gradually helps prepare for attacks, the recovery phase, getting to know tools that detect the incidents, legal issues, etc.
SANS certifications are not cheap. But the price pays out as employers look for these in a candidate, and it prepares them well for career development. We will not emphasize the cost of certifications; you can do that research on your financial times.
Preparing for GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)
GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH) is a certification from SANS. SANS has cyber security training, certificates, degrees, and a vast library of resources. SANS GIAC certifications are open-book, meaning participants can perform in their written exam with the help of books, notes, and every material that can help bring out the best result. But the challenge occurs at open-book exams when students are not prepared enough. It should be an easy grasp on where to look. Of course, there is Google, and like all kinds of scenarios where real-world challenges are unique, it can give out mixed reactions towards handling situations. You should know enough to answer all your questions or practice through the course to leverage the ideal scenario.
Finding accurate answers, proving points, and putting on paper comes as a bit of a challenge within the two-hour time frame. Among three steps to get GCIH certification, one is the written exam, which is open-book. The second part is the lab exam, where individuals are given tons of problems in a virtual machine to solve. And the final step is the top two participating against each other as a blue and red team, one on defense and the other in the offense. It makes the process much more exciting and allows to find top examinees of the course.
Students are encouraged to index chapters, sub-sections, specific topics, and child categories from them. Observing onto the index will indicate which book and which chapter the answer lies within quickly during the exam.
Two new GAIC certifications came out as we discussed; they are GIAC Cloud Security Essentials (GCLD) & GIAC Cloud Penetration Tester (GCPN). Nevertheless, GCIH teaches to use powerful hacking tools and ways to prevent an attack at its doorstep.
Software & Hardware Requirements
Tests run in Virtual Machines, so VMware, VMware Workstation Player, and VMware Fusions. Products such as Hyper-V and VirtualBox also play an essential role in supporting the curriculum, though most of the time, they stay out of course material. Newer CPUs are highly efficient in running these software’s, and Apple’s 2020 (1st gen) chips are not properly optimized for it, but later came perfection. 2021 M1 chips are pretty handy as the rival most potent Intel or AMD chips.
Though a good computer can run the earlier mentioned software ideally, a laptop goes a long way. CPUs with 64-bit architecture are capable of running that software decently. Intel’s VT (VT-x) helps run hardware virtualization technology, and it needs to be enabled from motherboards BIOS or UEFI settings. To be noted, BIOS sometimes are password-protected, so clearing that up before class is a good idea.
For RAM, what can we say, Google Chrome eats a ton of it, and so does the latest software. A bare minimum of 8 GB RAM is recommended to run programs alongside the browser to keep notes in sync. There are also RAM-friendly browsers out there, such as Brave & Edge.
Any latest operating system (OS) with updated virus and threat protection, at least 100 GB of free space to host virtualization programs (SSDs recommended) is required.
Additional hardware required for the certification course is a USB Wi-Fi adapter for virtual machines’ network access. To find a suitable network adapter, choose one with support for both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels and monitor mode as well.
Acquiring the GIAC certifications is one of the best things you can achieve regarding personal satisfaction or earning a new credential. The certification creates high value in the job market and increases respect among employers and peers. As the exam and the process can be quite hard and take a significant amount of time, it needs personal attention.
GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH) is a SANS course that can be taken either live online or on demand. Each of the SANSs courses takes us on a deep dive tour into computer crime investigation, incident response and incident handlin , network activities, attack reconnaissance, analysis with tools, DeepBlueCLI, log analysis, Elastic Shark (formerly ELK), command, control, and a lot more. So, things can get pretty complicated pretty quickly. We suggest not to rely on the indexing of books rather than doing it on your own.
After the training course, a student gets four months to study before the final exam. If you wait around that time to finish studying right before the exam, you’re going to be in deep trouble as there are chances of forgetting materials and some materials already having new tactics. So, prepare yourself with indexing. GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH) has thick books, so color coding and highlighting are recommended. Maybe you’re composing in an office or family around, and it still works for you. There are also mp3 materials for students in such situations.
During the exam, browsing through five or six large textbooks and notes can be pretty distracting and too vast to handle in a time frame. Do not worry about it. You’ve prepared yourself for this very moment and worked hard. Those resources are to give you a helping hand, be calm. Indexing is a systematic, color-coded guide created by you so that it becomes easy to find the materials needed for the exam.
Some students don’t like to ask questions and avoid it during the course. Let us tell you, the highest-scoring individuals are those who ask frequent questions and have a clear idea of their weaknesses. Don’t hesitate to ask the instructor about something you don’t understand. Instructors at SANSs GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH) program are top-notch personalities willing to help in every way. Why miss the opportunity?
During the exam, if you’re confused or can’t find an answer, do not panic. Most importantly, do not get overwhelmed and stop looking at the timer. You’ve prepared yourself for the moment. Answer the questions that you’re confident in first. And later, look at those hard-to-answer problems in your index calmly. If there is a loss of time due to technical difficulties, it will be added to the exam clock.
Discovering vulnerabilities and taking proper action is all it counts from a certified professional. Don’t take the exam as a side project. Instead, depend on it as much as possible because the result will be incredible and raise your bar. You’re not the first to get a GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH) certification and certainly not the last. If others could do it, you can, too, trust in yourself.
There is a saying in the world of computers and technology:
The technical stuff matters…a lot, but technology is not everything that matters.”